8 ways to improve your sleep habits when Daylight Saving ends

The end of Daylight Saving Time is this weekend. In much of North America at least.

While most of the negative press surrounding Daylight Saving Time emerges in the spring, there are some concerns in the autumn, too. Most of us tend to use the switch to standard time as an excuse for poor sleeping practices. After all, we get an extra hour of sleep. It’s still a great time to remember good sleeping habits.

We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In fact, not getting enough sleep can be harmful to your health.

If your sleeping habits are poor, try following these 8 tips this weekend to get yourself back on track:

  1. Don’t stay up an hour later. Instead of using this weekend as an excuse to stay up an extra hour, use it as a reason to get an extra hour of sleep.
  2. Get up at the same time Sunday morning. Don’t sleep in. Even if you have a bad night’s sleep, you’ll be sleepy at bedtime Sunday night and it’ll be easier to get to sleep.
  3. Don’t worry. Don’t watch TV, read scary books, or do other things in bed besides sleeping. If you worry, read thrillers, or watch TV, don’t do it in the bedroom or in a bed.
  4. Keep your room dark. Keep electronic devices out of your room and make sure your window coverings completely cover your window. A dark room will help you sleep better.
  5. Avoid screen time. Put away your phone, tablet, laptop, or other electronic device early enough to give your body time to wind down. The blue light emitted by these devices stimulates your mind, which can interfere with sleep. Consider winding down with a relaxing book instead.
  6. Do not drink or eat anything caffeinated within 6 hours of bedtime.
  7. Avoid alcohol. Although it may relax you at first, you’ll wake up when it clears your system — and this can happen in the middle of the night.
  8. Spend time outdoors on Saturday. People exposed to daylight or bright light therapy sleep better.